Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Otago international research collaborations gain funding

Otago international research collaborations gain funding

Two University of Otago scientists’ international research collaborations involving gout and ‘food for health’ are to receive significant support following separate funding announcements this week.

Biochemistry’s Associate Professor Tony Merriman has gained $195,000 in Health Research Council funding to further his work with European researchers in studying the complex genetics of gout through analysing the genetic makeup of 3000 people with this debilitating condition.

Microbiology and Immunology’s Professor Gerald Tannock receives $250,000 for a joint New Zealand-Singapore project involving studying the effects of weaning foods on the make-up of bacterial communities in infants’ bowels.

Associate Professor Merriman’s two-year gout project is being funded through the Health Research Council’s International Relationship Fund: EU-NZ Collaborations. This fund supports collaborative research relationships focused on non-communicable diseases.

Through their ‘Eurogout’ consortium, Associate Professor Merriman and colleagues in Auckland, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and France aim to recruit 1400 gout patients of Caucasian ancestry in New Zealand and Europe to add to 1600 other patients already recruited.

Once they have the full 3000 study participants, the genetic make-up of these patients will be analysed through a genome-wide association study (GWAS). The research will search for gene variants that cause gout, as well as examine how the genes interact with lifestyle and other factors. They will also examine molecular pathways that may drive diseases often accompanying gout, such as diabetes, heart and kidney disease.

Additionally, they will develop a database with genetic, anthropomorphic, clinical, biochemical and environmental data that will facilitate further New Zealand-European collaborative research projects.

The new funding follows the announcement earlier this month that Associate Professor Merriman and colleagues had been awarded funding for a $5M, five-year, major programme of related research titled: “Urate and gout: genetic control, environmental and drug interactions”.

Professor Tannock’s two-year project is one of five newly announced New Zealand-Singapore collaborative research projects on the development of food products with validated health benefits.

He and colleagues at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS) and the National University Health System (NUHS) will study the effects of weaning food patterns on the gradual development of complex bacterial communities in infants’ bowels and implications for obesity as children and adults.

Previous research has shown bowel microbiota are potential contributors to obesity through releasing additional calories to the body through degrading and fermenting food elements that are otherwise indigestible.

The contract for the project commences this month and is funded through the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s International Relationships Fund, with a matching contribution from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news